Thursday, January 3, 2013

poem of the day 01.03.13

the witness

larry comes into my job
in the same drunken huff that he’s always in

he slams down three envelopes and says
i need a witness

huh? i say
because i’m too busy reading the electronic news
about this fiscal cliff
we’ve all avoided going over

larry says, come on kid,
open up the envelop and sign these

so i do
i open up each envelop
putting my chicken scratch name right below larry’s

what are these? i ask him

don’t worry about it, he says
most probably nothing will happen to you
but if it does, at least you won’t have to share the tv
with the wife anymore

what do you mean by that, lar?

i mean where you’ll go you’ll have all of the time
in the world, he says,
collecting the documents and shoving them back
into their envelopes

i mean ten to twelve somewhere, he adds

he might be joking
but i don’t trust larry as far as i can throw him

he’s always working some scheme
trying to put one over on the city

illegal hot dog vendor licenses, etc.

and he’s often drunk before noon
i’ve been drunk before noon many times
so i know how guys like that think

give me back the forms, i say

now it’s larry’s turn to ask, huh?

i’m serious, i tell him

i don’t joke about shit like prison
especially when i’m picturing
some big sweaty fucker clad in prison orange
slamming me face first
down on some cockroach infested bed

if i’m going out like that
it ain’t going to be for a guy like larry diel

he rolls his eyes
have it your way, kid, he says

larry takes the forms back out of the envelope
watches as i slather liquid paper all over my name

i’m broke, kid, he says, as i work to free myself
as if it’ll change my mind
i was just trying to get some money from the government

that’s fine, i tell him
but why not use your family as a witness?

that’s a good idea, larry says,
taking back the forms

he grabs the pen from my hand
blows on the liquid paper and waits

then he slaps his daughter’s name on the forms
shoves them back in the envelope
shakes his head at me as if i’m the biggest disappointment in the world

and says
have a nice day, you candy-assed wimp

before walking back out into the cold, winter sun
his next scheme for us already cooking
in that soused head of his.                                                         

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